Consumers Want Ads

April 22, 2019

 You won't believe me, but maybe you'll believe the Harris Poll people whose recent survey showed that 54% of consumers say they prefer ad-supported over ad-free if their streaming subscription price was less expensive.


Fifty-four percent not enough? For Netflix that number jumped to 70%.


Full disclosure: the research was funded by the programmatic ad exchange OpenX. But it's a Harris Poll, so I wouldn't take it lightly.


What's interesting is that, despite all the talk about how much consumers hate ads and that they are cutting the cords to avoid ads, the majority of consumers are saying they preferred ads to the current subscription prices. And that is even more true for the streaming subscription leader, Netflix.


And here's a quote from Dallas Lawrence, Chief Brand Officer at OpenX, that underscores the idea that consumers get it. "Nearly three-quarters of OTT users (cord-cutter TV viewers) say they understand there is a trade-off between watching free content and having advertisers use their data to serve ads." It's a reminder of David Ogilvy's old maxim, "The consumer isn't a moron, she's your wife."


We've been having this discussion for decades about how consumers hate ads and therefore TV is dead. But the consumer isn't a moron. He knows a good deal when he sees it. He'll pay extra, but it had better be worth it. So far, it looks like the cost of streaming subscription services is not low enough to offset the "cost" of watching ads, for most people.


Read the whole article from Media Post here.


P.S. This reminds me of an argument I used to have with a creative director at the last corporate agency I worked for who kept telling me TV was dead. This was 10 years ago. My argument was more along the lines of, how do you define TV? Because YouTube's logo was a TV screen. 

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